CHICAGO — The suspected leader of a Chicago-area street gang has been arrested for allegedly attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
JASON BROWN, also known as “Abdul Ja’Me,” provided $500 in cash to an individual on three separate occasions this year, with the understanding that the money would be wired to an ISIS soldier engaged in active combat in Syria, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Unbeknownst to Brown, the individual to whom he provided the money was confidentially working with law enforcement, and the purported ISIS fighter was actually an undercover law enforcement officer, the complaint states.
Brown, 37, of Lombard, Ill., was arrested Thursday. He is charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. A detention hearing is set for Nov. 21, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sunil R. Harjani in Chicago.
The complaint alleges that Brown is the leader of the AHK street gang, which is based in the Chicago suburb of Bellwood and comprised of former members of other gangs, including the Black P Stones, Gangster Disciples, and Four Corner Hustlers.
Six other alleged AHK members or associates were charged in a separate complaint with federal drug offenses. According to the charges, AHK members allegedly trafficked various narcotics in the Chicago area, including a fentanyl analogue, heroin, and cocaine, and often boasted about the gang’s activities on social media. As part of the investigation, law enforcement shut down the gang’s operation of two illicit drug markets on the West Side of Chicago and executed search warrants at numerous locations.
“The conduct alleged in these two complaints presents grave risks to our communities,” said John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. “We will seek accountability to the fullest extent of the law.”
“These charges underscore the ceaseless efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to disrupt the illegal flow of money and drugs,” said Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI. “The FBI is proud to collaborate with its partners to make our neighborhoods safer and to keep valuable resources out of the hands of gang and terrorist organizations.”
U.S. Attorney Lausch announced the charges along with John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Eddie Johnson, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Substantial investigative assistance was provided by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, Illinois State Police, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Lombard, Ill., Police Department, and Addison, Ill., Police Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shoba Pillay, Sean Driscoll and Nicholas Eichenseer of the Northern District of Illinois, with support from the National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section.
The alleged AHK members or associates charged with conspiracy to possess a fentanyl analogue, heroin, and cocaine with the intent to distribute are TRISTAN CLANTON, 34, of Chicago, RANDALL LANGSTON, 25, of Bellwood, Ill., his brother, BRANDON LANGSTON, 22, of Bellwood, Ill., HEZEKIAH WYATT, 19, of Hillside, Ill., LENOLIS MUHAMMAD-CURTIS, 24, of Bellwood, Ill., and FRANK THAXTON, 19, of Chicago. Clanton, Brandon Langston, Wyatt and Muhammad-Curtis were arrested Thursday. Judge Harjani set their detention hearings for next week. Thaxton is currently in the custody of state law enforcement, and a federal court appearance will be scheduled at a later date. An arrest warrant has been issued for Randall Langston.
According to the charges, Clanton is an influential AHK member who leads a drug trafficking operation in Chicago and Bellwood. The organization is responsible for trafficking more than a half kilogram of heroin, at least 474 grams of fentanyl analogue, and distribution quantities of cocaine and other drugs, the charges allege. Clanton and his crew sold drugs near two intersections in the North Lawndale and Humboldt Park neighborhoods of Chicago, according to the complaint. Law enforcement shut down the crew’s operation of these markets as part of the federal probe.
The public is reminded that charges contain only accusations and are not evidence of guilt. The material support charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The drug conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.